Alien Swirling Saucers; Courtesy Disney
Little Kids: 3-6

24 Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers

See recent posts by Jackie Perrin

Toddlers aren’t too young to enjoy the thrills and rides at Walt Disney World, and since kids under three get in free, they’re the perfect age for a theme park test run. Based on ride duration, age appropriateness, precious photo-ops and tot appeal, these are the best rides for toddlers at Disney World.

Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers at the Magic Kingdom

Fun with Little Ones on Dumbo the Flying Elephant; Courtesy Disney

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Height Requirement: Any Height
This high-flying, gently dipping double-seater ride is a Disney World classic. The newer indoor portion of the ride queue–basically an air-conditioned playground—is a frazzled parent’s gift from the Disney gods. Our advice: Ride at least twice. Get a Fastpass+ (which skips the queue) for early in the day for guaranteed family photo-ops, then ride again without a Fastpass+ when your toddler needs to blow off some steam.

Prince Charming Regal Carousel; Courtesy Disney

Prince Charming Regal Carousel

Height Requirement: Any Height
Sure, your toddler can ride a merry-go-round at home. But where else but the Magic Kingdom can they ride atop a majestic wood-carved Disney steed while enjoying an enchanting view of towering Cinderella Castle? The original 1971 Magic Kingdom merry-go-round ride is less than two minutes long, and lines (open-air) are fast-moving. Visit early or late in the day for a minimal wait.

Magic Carpets of Aladdin; Courtesy Disney

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Height Requirement: Any Height
A four-seater family photo-op, this kid-pleaser allows riders to control ascent and descent and enjoy an aerial view of park happenings. Toddlers will squeal with delight when squirted by the “spitting” camel hiding in the attraction’s center. Ride at night for a magical view.

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh; Courtesy Disney

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Height Requirement: Any Height
The “sweetest” ride at Disney World, this six-seater honey pot based storybook adventure starring Disney’s beloved Pooh bear is a toddler favorite. Little ones who don’t mind the dark will enjoy bouncing and singing along with Tigger and other friends from the Hundred Acre Wood. Lines can be long for the four-minute journey, but plenty of hands-on activities in the interactive queue help keep tots busy.

The Barnstormer; Courtesy Disney

The Barnstormer

Height Requirement: Any Height
By the time your toddler is two-and-a-half, he or she will probably be tall enough to “fly” on the popular Goofy-themed ride, The Barnstormer. Minimum height is 35 inches for the super short (one-minute long) kid-friendly coaster. Nearby, at Pete’s Silly Sideshow, kids can meet the Great Goofini and get his autograph.

Pirates of the Caribbean; Courtesy Disney

Pirates of the Caribbean

Height Requirement: Any Height
Yo-ho, yo-ho, it’s a pirate boat adventure ride for the entire family! Toddlers won’t appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humor behind this “treasured” Adventureland attraction. But many two- to three-year olds tend to enjoy the ride’s upbeat music, gentle movement and exciting waterfall drop. The longer duration (8.5 minutes) of this dark (warning!) ride compared to most makes it a parent-pleaser, too. Climb aboard for swashbuckling fun!

it’s a small world; Courtesy Disney

it’s a small world

Height Requirement: Any Height
A 10-minute musical boat trip around “the world,” the original Fantasyland attraction is a fan favorite for memorable tunes and a cool, welcome break from the elements. Lap riders are allowed. If your little one frightens easily, we recommend taking advantage of this seating option.

Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid; Courtesy Disney

Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid

Height Requirement: Any Height
Sing along with Ariel as she swims under the sea on her quest to meet her Prince. Toddlers will enjoy belting out lines from the popular Little Mermaid movie soundtrack. The five-and-a-half-minute ride takes place aboard a clamshell car, which seats up to three. Loaded with bright graphics, this ride is a sweet dose of eye candy and happy endings for all ages.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin; Courtesy Tripadvisor Traveler/Ramblingman163

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Height Requirement: Any Height
Blast off to outer space and help Buzz defeat the bad guys in an interactive toy-themed video game ride. Two-seater “toy” spaceships are equipped with laser guns, which you use to blast targets in order to rack up points. Seat younger kids on the right to give them a points advantage.

Peter Pan’s Flight; Courtesy Disney

Peter Pan’s Flight

Height Requirement: Any Height
A flying pirate ship journey to Neverland with Peter Pan features sweet music and classic Disney storybook scenery. Little ones will love the sensation of “flying” over London. If you have a lap sitter, be sure to hold them tightly! Move your littlest darlings up to “first class” flight status by getting a Fastpass+ (which skips the typically long queue.)

Tomorrowland Speedway; Courtesy Tripadvisor Traveler/Jotjie

Tomorrowland Speedway

Height Requirement: 32 inches to ride; 54 inches to ride alone
You supply the cool sunglasses, and Disney will provide the license for your junior race car driver at this classic Tomorrowland track. Older toddlers who meet the 32-inch height requirement (typically ages two and up) can take the wheel along with a parent on the double-seater ride.A great option for younger kids while older siblings head to Space Mountain next door, the photo-op-rich ride moves along the track at a tame 7 mph. Pack drinks and sun hats if you’re visiting during summer, when Florida temperatures really “rev” up.

Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover; Courtesy Tripadvisor Traveler/Sally62

Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover

Height Requirement: None
Officially known as the “PeopleMover,” this leisurely ride is an unofficial “sleeper mover,” a.k.a. welcome respite for weary parents of tired young children. It’s a slow trip through Tomorrowland, with some dark, peaceful segments. You can board quickly, then sit back and enjoy the ride. You can possibly even enjoy a beautiful 10-minute nap! Ride it with younger kids while the older crew rides Space Mountain, or keep it in your back pocket as an afternoon sanity-saver.

Mad Tea Party; Courtesy Disney

Mad Tea Party

Height Requirement: Any Height
In Fantasyland, toddlers will relish the chance to make mom and dad dizzy on a spinning teacup ride. Riders control speed and direction via a center “wheel” in this classic Alice in Wonderland-themed attraction. Thankfully, for adults prone to motion sickness, it’s a short two minutes of revolving joy.

Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers at Epcot

Frozen Ever After; Courtesy Disney

Frozen Ever After

Height Requirement: Any Height
Fans of Elsa, Anna and their adorable snowman friend, Olaf, will be smitten by this sweet Land of Norway-anchored boat ride. Get a Fastpass+ in order to avoid long lines—the only way to truly enjoy a “meltdown” free experience when you’re touring with toddlers.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends; Courtesy Disney

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Height Requirement: Any Height
Dive into sea-faring family fun on a feel-good ride in The Seas Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World. Riders board a clamshell vehicle and go under the sea on the high-tech animated attraction, based on Finding Nemo. Afterwards, enjoy the Turtle Talk with Crush show, another top toddler-friendly attraction.

Gran Fiesta Tour with the Three Caballeros; Courtesy Tripadvisor Traveler/ FERNANDO A

Gran Fiesta Tour with the Three Caballeros

Height Requirement: Any Height
Enjoy cool breezes and an animated tour of Mexico during the refreshing eight-minute musical boat ride starring Donald Duck and friends. Lines move quickly, so if you’re so inclined, you can make an immediate return sailing and soak up all of the details in relaxed, air-conditioned comfort. Little kids tend to love this ride, but the dark indoor queue can be loud and disorienting. Consider bringing a baby carrier to help keep young toddlers close.

Journey into the Imagination with Figment; Courtesy Tripadvisor Traveler/Ramblingman163

Journey into the Imagination with Figment

Height Requirement: Any Height
Toddlers will fall in love with Figment, Disney’s miniature fictional friendly purple dragon. The official mascot of Epcot’s Imagination Pavilion stars in this immersive dark ride in which kids will experience all five senses. Tame enough for toddlers, this ride is a great option for families looking to escape the crowds.

Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

TriceraTop Spin; Courtesy Tripadvisor Traveler/ Gaby A

TriceraTop Spin

Height Requirement: Any Height
Similar to the Dumbo The Flying Elephant ride, but with cute cartoonish dinosaurs rather than elephants as ride vehicles, TriceraTop Spin is a toddler headliner. Four riders (two in the front and two in the back) fit in each dino vehicle, making it a photo-op-friendly family ride. Ride in the morning or late afternoon to enjoy a minimal wait. Afterwards, head to The Boneyard, a dig site themed-playground where toddlers can get dirty while parents enjoy some shade.

Wildlife Express Train; Courtesy Disney

Wildlife Express Train

Height Requirement: Any Height
In Harambe, Africa, board the Wildlife Express Train bound for Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The seven-minute journey takes visitors past animal care facilities on the way to feed, cuddle and brush domestic animals at the Affection Section petting zoo. Note that park strollers are not permitted on the train; however, personal strollers (folded and stowed) are allowed. When deciding whether or not to bring your own (Disney-approved) stroller, keep in mind that after departing the train, you’ll need to walk about five minutes (often in the sun and heat) to get to the main attractions. If you’re traveling with little ones, ask the train conductor if he or she can take a turn blowing the whistle.

Kilimanjaro Safaris ; Courtesy Disney

Kilimanjaro Safaris 

Height Requirement: Any Height
In Africa, this Jeep ride offers amazing savanna animal sightings interpreted by a Disney safari guide. Family members of all ages will enjoy seeing zebra, hippos, cheetah, rhinos and more. The ride is pretty bumpy, which can actually be soothing to tired toddlers. Hold on tightly and enjoy the journey!

Na’vi River Journey Location; Courtesy Disney

Na’vi River Journey Location

Height Requirement: Any Height
Enter a magical glow-in-the-dark bioluminescent rainforest on a slow World of Avatar boat ride. Colorful scenery and a soothing soundtrack will hold toddlers’ attention. The six-seater family ride fits three across in two rows. Get a Fastpass+ and consider packing a water bottle and battery-powered cooling fan for the ride queue. (Water filling stations are available in line.)

Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios


Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway; Courtesy Disney

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Height Requirement: Any Height
It’s all aboard for some fun in this cheerful, musical ride celebrating Mickey and Minnie. Based on the Mickey Mouse cartoon short, “Perfect Picnic,” the newest tot-friendly ride at Hollywood Studios is sure to bring surprises and smiles. Train cars seat four passengers (two per row) on the high-tech musical ride, which features 2-1/2 D technology (no special glasses required!). Since it’s the only ride with no height restrictions in the First Tier Fastpass+ selection for Hollywood Studios, make this your primary ride pick when touring with toddlers.

Toy Story Mania; Courtesy Disney

Toy Story Mania

Height Requirement: Any Height
It’s a ride that’s a game, it’s a game that’s a ride! Giddy up pardners’—Toy Story Mania a moving virtual shootout that’s a blast for the entire family. It’s so fun, in fact, that even toddlers will want to ride again—immediately! Our advice: Ride first-thing, then get a FastPass for a return ride.

Alien Swirling Saucers; Courtesy Disney

Alien Swirling Saucers

Height Requirement: 32 inches
An average two-year-old is tall enough to blast off on this 90-second spinning outer space joy ride located in Toy Story Land. It’s one of the few rides for the youngest space fans at Hollywood Studios. Similar to Magic Kingdom’s Mad Tea Party ride—but airborne—the three-seater saucer flight spins in two directions. Get a Fastpass+ to make it more enjoyable for toddlers.

Jackie Perrin has covered the best of family travel for nearly two decades, for media ranging from newspapers and magazines to At home and on the go, she manages a crew of companions. Follow her on Pinterest, TripAdvisor and Instagram, @NYfamtravels

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